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Carrying twins and multiples in slings

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Carrying twins and multiples in slings

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twin sling weego hands free

Why carry twins in a sling?

People carry twins and multiples in a sling for the same reasons anyone carries their children. Of that’s to help them carry on with their lives whilst meeting the needs of their babies! Twins and multiples present a unique parenting challenge. With two or more babies to feed, change and care for you may feel like you need more hands. This is when slings can be incredibly helpful. When one or more babies is in a sling, you may even have a hand free, occasionally, which is handy for meeting your own basic needs!

Do I have to have both twins in a sling at the same time?

Only if you want to! Or, sometimes, if they want you to.

weego twins tiny baby sling

Carrying for comfort

Carrying can comfort unhappy babies. However, when you have two or more babies they are not always unhappy at the same time. You may find that often you only need to carry one baby in a sling at a time, occasionally picking up another, or more, as they need. You may have a friend, partner, parent, or postnatal doula who can help carry one or more babies. Slings can be tools that are used by more than one parent, especially when we’re discussing carrying twins and multiples!

twins in two slings

Something I say a lot to twin parents is “being fair does not mean treating them the same”. Your babies are individuals, people with their own preferences and needs. Being fair means meeting their needs as they arise. Some will require more time in a sling, but that does mean you are being unfair to the other baby, you meet their needs in different ways.

Something I say a lot to twin parents is “being fair does not mean treating them the same”. Your babies are individuals, people with their own preferences and needs. Being fair means meeting their needs as they arise. Some will require more time in a sling, but that does mean you are being unfair to the other baby, you meet their needs in different ways.

There are lots of options for carrying twins and multiples in a sling or carrier.  The right sling for you will depend on personal preference, size and age of babies, and any size or weight difference between them.

Around the house you may find only one of your twins, (or triplets, or more!) needs to be in a sling some of the time. You could carry one baby and have the other in a pushchair or walking if they’re older.

twingo twin sling walk

Carrying for transport

When out and about you may wish to carry all of your babies and be buggy free. This is usually possible for twins, but gets much harder for triplets and beyond. However, twin parents who have an older child often find slings an invaluable tool. Because carrying at least one baby or child means that a double buggy allows them to transport all children if needs be. For parents of only twin babies, or twins and a significantly older child, carrying one may mean a single buggy is an option. This can reduce costs, and twin parenting is, alas, often an expensive matter.

twins in sling

In this article we will mostly consider how to carry twins or two babies in slings at the same time. This is because for carrying a single baby at a time the rest of our articles can help you work out what might work best for you. We do not presume, however, that all parents of multiples want to carry two babies at the same time.

What slings or carriers can I use to carry twins?

two buckle carriers twin tandem carry

Almost anything!  Whilst they are small, you could carry two babies on your front in a stretchy wrap. You could carry one child on each hip or one on your front and one on your back.  You could share the twin carrying love with your partner, parent, sibling, friend – and carry one child each.

Woven wraps, ring slings, stretchy wraps, meh dai, buckle carriers and onbuhimo are all popular choices.  Using one carrier per child is usually recommended although many people use one woven or stretchy wrap for both children. 

twingo twin sling

Twin specific slings

There is a slowly growing market of specially designed buckle carrier for twins such as the Twingo, Twingaroo, Minimonkey Twin and the Weego. These links will take you to the in depth Spotlight articles we have written on for these carriers. We offer all of these for postal hire from our online sling library.

You can check out the photos here for some inspiration or read some of our articles; What’s the best sling? and Help me choose

twin sling

Using one or two woven wrap slings to carry twins and multiples

Two babies on the front

twin sling woven wrap

One on each hip

  • Jasmine’s tandem hip carry
  • Amanda’s hip carry

Front-back tandem carries

Front back carry- Ruck with front baby in the tibetan passes.
Wrap You in Love offers video tutorials for several front-back woven wrap tandem carries.

There are several tandem woven wrap carrying playlists on youtube. I suggest looking for videos by carrying consultants, or parents of twins and multiples who highlight safety consideration, so you know what to watch for as you wrap.

twins in stretchy wrap

“Poppable carries”

If using woven or stretchy wraps consider carries that you can pre-tie. For example, a pocket wrap cross carry, or pocket wrap double hammock with a stretchy wrap. Our article and videos Carrying two babies in a stretchy wrap covers this in more detail.This means that the majority of the work can be done before putting either twin or baby in a sling.

Another poppable option is for front twin in a Front cross carry, which is a poppable sling carry. This means it can be pretied rather than tying around the baby. You can pretie this carry, then put your back twin in whatever sling or carrier they will be using. Finally, ‘pop’ in the front baby and tighten.

Using two buckle carriers to carry twins or two babies:

It is generally advised to try two different brands and/or use carriers with lightly padded straps.  This is because a thick double layer of padding at your waist and shoulders can feel uncomfortable and overwhelming.  It can also be difficult to tighten effectively. This can become a safety issue.

Integra and Mamaruga Zensling, and Izmi are popular choices for carrying twins or multiples in slings at the same time. These have lightly padded shoulder and waist straps, which can make them a good choice.

Hip carries with two babies

You can generally use any two relatively lightly padded buckle carriers that have crossable straps for these carries, for example, two mamaruga zenslings. You could also use two meh dai, or you can mix it up and use two different buckle carriers or a meh dai and a buckle carrier. Finding what works best for you can be trial and error.

Tandem hip carries are generally set up in the same way, as demonstrated in this video by Sarah from South London Sling Library.

Front-back tandem sling carries

tandem buckle carry

Again, the same light weight buckle carriers can work. However some parents favour a more structured carrier on the back, such as a Tula. This is usually most comfortable when worn with one of the less padded carriers listed above on the front.

Onbuhimos can also be a good option for one baby,. As these have no waistband it gets rid of any problems with positioning two waistbands.

A ring sling, or as mentioned about above, a woven wrap front cross carry can be good poppable options for the front baby. These can work with many different carriers on the back.

Some extra considerations

Stress on the slings when carrying twins

There are many suggestion of how you can loop a short wrap through the straps of a meh dai or buckle carrier you are wearing on your back to carry the second baby or twin in a sling on your front. We advise caution if doing this.

It is not recommended to put both children’s weight on straps that are stitched to the body of a carrier., or straps that fasten with buckles. The stitching and buckles are only tested to carry one child’s weight. They are not tested for two babies’ weight that is pulling in different directions.  This may place undue pressure on the straps’ stitching and could cause them to fail. If you use this method then be aware of the risks and check the stitching on your straps, and ensure the buckles are not failing

Babies’ comfort

Breathing space

If carrying both children on your front, be particularly aware of each child’s breathing space.  Ensure that neither child’s airway becomes compromised.

Under pressure

If carrying both babies in one wrap, or looping wraps through carriers think about which direction, the weight of each baby is pulling in, and whether their weight is causing the sling to put pressure on the other baby. If you are buckling the chest strap of a back carrier, ensure it goes under your front baby, never over them, otherwise any weight that passes through that strap will be transferred to the front baby. This may seem obvious, but it isn’t always so clear cut!

twin sling woven wrap

Leg space

If carrying one child on your front and one on your back, consider the amount of space each child has for their legs at the side of your body.  You might consider carrying your children at different heights to minimise leg bumping.

Which child do I put in first?

This depends on several factors. You can choose to put the currently least cooperative baby in first. This is because putting the second baby in is usually the tricky bit. Doing the tricky bit with the smallest, sleepiest, most compliant or least wiggly child may be easiest.  Some people always put the same baby in first, in the same position, some people alternate who goes where.

How will I take them out?

Think about how you will take your children out and in what order.  Being able to independently remove either child is very useful. Again ‘poppable’ carries work well for this reason.  Often when you have two babies in a single wrap it is not possible to remove only one baby. Where it is possible this is usually in a front-back carry tandem, and only the front twin can be removed from the sling. To get the back baby down the front often needs to come down too. Heavier stretchy wraps such as JPMBB Original can be useful for this. They may have enough elasticity to reabsorb the slack that one baby leaves when removed.

What do I need to think about when carrying two children at the same time?

Carrying two children at the same time can be hard work!  Be aware of your own body and its limitations. If you have have recently given birth then remember that your body is healing. This is the case for any kind of birth, but is even more significant if you have had a caesarean birth. We have an article on carrying after caesarean birth.

If you are in pain then it is ideal to rest, however, we know that is not always possible when you are a parent. Get support from a trained babywearing or carrying consultant if you need to carry after a caesarean and are experiencing discomfort.

Remember, using slings with twins or multiples does not always mean one person carrying two babies.

Where to find support about slings for twins and multiples

Our friends over at the Facebook group Twin Sling are a friendly bunch and will be happy to help with inspiration. Thank you to everyone in Twin Sling who provided photos of their carrying journeys for us to share!

If you have a local sling library or consultant they will be able to support you with advice and information about carrying one child. Many will also be able to support you in carrying more than one should you wish.
We have lots of experience with supporting families with multiples here at It’s A Sling Thing: part of CalmFamily and we offer phone and Zoom consultations so get in touch if you’d like to book.

Meanwhile, find out more about slings, carriers and carrying in the carrying section of our Knowledge hub

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